It was extremely unlikely that the runoff election next weekend would have saved U.S. and Canada from the continuing catastrophe in Afghanistan but at least there was a chance. There could have been a sheen of legitimacy -- provided the second farce was a little less farcical than the first.
Reading the newspapers these days you have to wonder whether Canada was on another planet when the global credit crisis hit. House prices have actually increased in some provinces and now there is a shortage of houses for sale in southern Ontario. Credit is flowing everywhere.
Ottawa: The biggest sub-prime lender in the world
It's easy to get demoralized these days with so much going wrong around the world. So it is incredibly encouraging to see a campaign for justice and workers' health and safety prevail against supposedly insurmountable odds.
The SPP is dead. Let's keep in that way.
With virtually no fanfare or media analysis, one of the most transformative agreements ever signed by Canada and the US (and Mexico) is officially dead. The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), the formal expression of a corporate lobbying campaign called deep integration, is no more. Its official US government website declared last month: "The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) is no longer an active initiative. There will not be any updates to this site." (It's been edited since to be a little less brutal).
We should celebrate. It seems the economic crisis had a silver lining.
Anticipating another federal election feels like being in the movie Groundhog Day with the same players (save one) going through the same routines, everyone stuck in the same place, doing the same thing.
The two major parties are tied (according to the most reliable polls) at levels that are a long way off from majority territory. The NDP has learned nothing from the last two elections and the Greens are stuck at levels that mean they cannot possibly elect even one MP. Quebec will show its contempt for the whole mess by electing more Bloc members.
The most mean-spirited PM in history
"History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." -Karl Marx
The Afghan presidential election will prove to be simply irrelevant. The U.S., whose imperial hubris renders it willfully ignorant of all other cultures and societies, invaded Afghanistan with the stated purpose of eliminating Al-Qaeda (remember them -- the few hundred armed followers of Osama bin what's-his-name?).
In doing so they repeated the same blind arrogance of their imperial predecessors, the British and the Soviets. Getting in was easy; getting out on their own terms -- with a credible pro-Western government in place -- is proving almost impossible.